198. Eyes Wide Open (2009)

Aaron is married with four children, as well as being a devoutly Orthodox Jewish butcher and cantor in Jerusalem. One rainy day, a young yeshiva student, Ezri, walks into his shop asking for work. Aaron refuses, but later discovers the homeless young man asleep in the local synagogue. Aaron offers to employ him and gives him a place to stay in a small room above the shop.

The older man and his wife Rivka welcome Ezri into their home, but after the men take a ritual bath together, Ezri tries to kiss Aaron. The butcher politely but firmly pushes the younger man away, but days later, their relationship changes and becomes sexual, with Rivka becoming more and more suspicious of her husband’s late nights at the shop. But this is a small, close-knit community, and the two men’s behaviour is noticed, and confronted by threats to boycott the butchers, there are appeals to expel Ezri, as they believe him to be cursed.

The film moves at a slow pace, but this works well with the subject matter – Aaron speaks very little until pushed, when his feelings are exposed, and the chemistry between the two men is strong, silent, but poignant. The body language says more than words, and the emotion is restrained, as the devout Aaron begins to question his beliefs and relationships. An intelligent and sensitive film.


This entry was posted in YearInFilm and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s